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Encourage Life Skills Development

The transition and adjustment to college is stressful for many college students. Nearly all will encounter stress as they adapt to academic demands, housing and financial obligations, and make decisions about coursework, internships, and their career. Some may also feel overwhelmed in trying to balance their academic schedule with other non-academic commitments. These stressors may be heightened among certain groups of students, such as first-year, international, and non-resident students, who are perhaps more at risk for experiencing extreme stress.

Some college students may be poorly equipped to respond to these stressors. They may lack the coping skills or internal resources needed to handle stressful situations, especially if they need to respond to such problems on their own. Students may also lack other needed life skills required for being successful in school, the workforce, or adulthood generally. These life skills may include problem-solving or time management skills, or things like knowing how to balance a checkbook or developing a personal budget.

Institutions of higher education can assist students in managing and coping with stress they encounter while at school and help them develop necessary life skills. Campuses can increase students’ ability to adjust to college by educating them about mental health and wellness and providing them with the tools to recognize and manage a variety of stressors and emotional triggers. Campuses can also provide the resources needed to have campus-based support groups, mentoring programs, or psychoeducational groups. Workshops or tutorials on problem-solving techniques or other pertinent topics may also be provided. If implemented appropriately, these skills-building activities have the potential to provide students with necessary skills for facing and tackling various challenges in school and life.

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